Monitoring the health of rocket engine systems is essentially a two-phase process. The acquisition phase involves sensing physical conditions at selected locations, converting physical inputs to electrical signals, conditioning the signals as appropriate to establish scale or filter interference, and recording results in a form that is easy to interpret. The inference phase involves analysis of results from the acquisition phase, comparison of analysis results to established health measures, and assessment of health indications. A variety of analytical tools may be employed in the inference phase of health monitoring. These tools can be separated into three broad categories: statistical, rule based, and model based. Statistical methods can provide excellent comparative measures of engine operating health. They require well-characterized data from an ensemble of "typical" engines, or "golden" data from a specific test assumed to define the operating norm in order to establish reliable comparative measures. Statistical methods are generally suitable for real-time health monitoring because they do not deal with the physical complexities of engine operation. The utility of statistical methods in rocket engine health monitoring is hindered by practical limits on the quantity and quality of available data. This is due to the difficulty and high cost of data acquisition, the limited number of available test engines, and the problem of simulating flight conditions in ground test facilities. In addition, statistical methods incur a penalty for disregarding flow complexity and are therefore limited in their ability to define performance shift causality. Rule based methods infer the health state of the engine system based on comparison of individual measurements or combinations of measurements with defined health norms or rules. This does not mean that rule based methods are necessarily simple. Although binary yes-no health assessment can sometimes be established by relatively simple rules, the causality assignment needed for refined health monitoring often requires an exceptionally complex rule base involving complicated logical maps. Structuring the rule system to be clear and unambiguous can be difficult, and the expert input required to maintain a large logic network and associated rule base can be prohibitive.